Brecon Castle Hotel Brecon - Heritage Hotel - oldest hotel in Wales
With the tower and walls of Brecon Castle located in its gardens, Brecon Castle Hotel is a heritage hotel of great charm and character. It first opened as a coaching inn in the early 18th Century becoming the first modern hotel in Wales in 1809.
The hotel enjoys the best of both worlds being located in quiet and private grounds and on a prominent hill in the centre of town but with beautiful views from the front bedrooms and gardens over the river Usk and up to Pen-y-Fan and the Brecon Beacon mountains. Privately owned and family run, it combines a friendly atmosphere with efficient service and excellent, locally-sourced Italian food in its AA Rosette restaurant and solid pub food in the bar. Food is served all-day, every day (including conference buffets, meals and German hog-roasts).
All bedrooms are doubles or twins, ensuite and equipped with TV, tea/coffee making facilities, minibars, lap-top safes, radio and direct dial telephone. The hotel has extensive banqueting facilities for up to 200 people (sit-down) and extensive conference and meeting facilities for up to 200 delegates (theatre) with WiFi in all public areas and plug-and-play broadband and presentation screens in all five of the conference rooms.
There is disabled access to all downstairs areas, disabled toilets, 2 disabled bedrooms on the ground floor and a hearing-loop on the ground floor. Ample off-road parking for 45 cars (the only free parking in central Brecon).
Group activities such as trout and salmon fishing, golf at the nearby Cradoc Golf Course, guided mountain walks, canoeing, sailing, paint-balling, 4x4 off-road courses, clay-pigeon shooting, outdoor team building courses, etc, can be arranged locally for guests upon request.
The town of Brecon lies at the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, which takes its name from former use as sites for signal fires. This area, where over half the land is above 1,000ft., has a varied and changing landscape of isolated villages, market towns mountains, hills, moorland, waterfalls, craggy gorges and lakes.
The highest peak is at Pen-y-Fan and from the summit you can see the Malvern Hills, the Bristol Channel, Snowdonia and industrial South Wales. This area supports a particularly interesting selection of bird life; little grebes, goosanders, kingfishers, herons and grouse are all found here.
The half brother of William the Conqueror, Bernard de Neufmarche built a castle and priory where the rivers Usk and Honddhu converge. A walled town grew up around these buildings and that signalled the beginning of the ancient market town of Brecon. There is evidence of the town’s heritage all around.
There are two museums, the Brecknock Museum and the South Wales Borderers Museum, as well as the castle remains and the 13th century Priory of St. John the Evangelist, which became Brecon’s cathedral in the last century.
The Monmouth and Brecon Canal passes just outside the town and offers an interesting alternative for getting around the region. Brecon does make an idea base for exploring the whole National Park.
Just over three miles out of the town is the Mountain Centre, which provides loads of useful information of the geology, flora and fauna of the area, as well as things to do like guided walks, fishing spots and hikes.
Seven and a half miles SW of Brecon is the Storey Arms Centre, which is the start point of the hour-long ascent up Pen y Fan.